Van Garderen withdraws from Paris-Nice

Tejay van Garderen's (BMC Racing Team) 2014 Paris-Nice came to early end as the 25-year-old American abandoned today's opening stage after just 80km due to illness. After finishing fifth overall in 2012 and fourth overall in 2013 the American was expected to once again be a general classification contender in his first WorldTour race of the season, but a stomach bug forced the BMC leader to withdraw.

"At night, I had all these stomach cramps, and bad diarrhea all day yesterday and then a little bit of a fever and no appetite," Van Garderen said. "It felt like my sickness was getting better and today, I woke up and I felt OK. But I was really just empty. I couldn't take in calories and just had nothing in the muscles."

BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said despite the illness, van Garderen was motivated to compete. "But you can't race without fuel," Dr. Testa said. "I think the combination of dehydration and low glycogen in his muscles forced him to stop. Hopefully, he will recover in a couple days."

Paris-Nice was the first European race of van Garderen's 2014 season campaign. Van Garderen opened his season at the Tour of Oman where he finished second overall to Chris Froome (Sky).

As a result of his withdrawal from Paris-Nice, van Garderen's race program may be adjusted to compensate for the lost days of competition. Following Paris-Nice, the next race scheduled for van Garderen was Spain's Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, March 24-30.

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